Now that Sam’s shown us how to make caramel, we’re upping the ante around here and stuffing that sinful delight into my favorite chocolate cookie recipe that Sam modified to make it, well, even more amazing (hello, brown butter). Trust me these cookies never last more than twenty minutes at any party we bring them to, so be sure to save yourself a few at home…. Take it away Sam:
First thing’s first: make the caramel from the recipe here, with two changes:
- Do not add nuts
- Cook the caramel to 235 F instead of 245 F (making a much softer caramel)
- Brown 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of butter in a pan on medium heat, stirring occasionally. First it will foam up and bubble, then slowly little brown bits will start to appear and it will smell rich and nutty. Pour it into a bowl, little brown particles and all. If you’ve never done this before, buy extra butter so you can try again if you burn the first batch. Practice makes perfect.
- Add 3 Tablespoons of milk to the butter, and let it cool to room temperature.
- In a mixer with a flat beater (or by hand), cream the butter together with 1 cup of brown sugar.
- Cream in 1/2 cup of white sugar.
- Beat in 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, and 2 tsp. vanilla.
- In a separate bowl, mix the following ingredients together:
- 2 cups of flour (I like King Arthur flour. Good flour matters.)
- 1/2 tsp. of baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. of salt
- 2 cups of chocolate chips, or of your favorite chopped up dark chocolate bar
- 1 cup of toasted walnuts (optional, bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes)
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients on low, in three parts. I can’t stress this enough: mix the dough as little as possible, just until it looks like cookie dough. Do not overmix!
Now that you have delicious caramel and cookie dough, you’re ready to bake! Roll a small amount of caramel into a ball, about the size of a grape, in your hand. Seal 1/4 cup of cookie dough around the caramel ball. Don’t leave cracks or it will leak. Put 6 of these cookies on a baking sheet, and make sure there’s plenty of room between them.
Bake the cookies for about 7 minutes, then rotate the sheet (or sheets), and check after another 7 minutes for doneness. Remove them when they are perfectly golden brown. These cookies, warm or cold, are crispy on the outside, and wonderfully chewy and rich on the inside. If you want a real treat, eat them warm under your favorite ice cream. I hope you love them as much as I do!